The Jetson’s Cyber Concerns – Future Smart Cities Cybersecurity Checklist

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As cities continue to grow smarter, they will also become easier to hack. With millions (if not billions) of dollars going into research for urban domains and the Internet of Things (IoT), there will be more opportunities to utilise technology to define, access and improve smart city services and infrastructure. In these smart cities, information security plays a huge role in protecting the highest levels of confidentiality, availability and integrity for city resources and utilities.

Trend Micro has released a research paper Securing Smart Cities: Moving Toward Utopia with Security in Mind which surveys some of the existing smart technologies currently used in smart cities worldwide. Much like our previous reports on exposed smart devices and the hacking of robots in smart factories, this paper will discuss the risks of using smart technologies in critical sectors and will provide actionable steps to help local governments and urban developers design more secure smart cities.

To help guide the development of smart cities, Trend Micro has developed a quick ten step cybersecurity checklist as a gut check when implanting new, smart technologies.

  1. Perform quality inspection and penetration testing
  2. Prioritize security in SLAs for all vendors and service providers
  3. Establish a municipal CERT or CSIRT
  4. Ensure the consistency and security of software updates
  5. Plan around the life cycle of smart infrastructures
  6. Process data with privacy in mind
  7. Encrypt, authenticate and regulate public communication channels
  8. Always have a manual override ready
  9. Design a fault-tolerant system
  10. Ensure the continuity of basic services

Cities will continue to grow smarter over time. Whether these cities are built from the ground up, or built around and over established metropolises, it is always important to balance functionality with security. Cities are created by the people, and for the people. So, it’s only right to protect them.

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